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					                  The Tafsir of Surah Tabbat (Chapter - 111)

Which was revealed in Makkah
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

(1. Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!)

(2. His wealth and his children will not benefit him!)

(3. He will enter a Fire full of flames!)

(4. And his wife too, who carries wood.)

(5. In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad.)

The Reason for the Revelation of this Surah and the Arrogance of Abu
Lahab toward the Messenger of Allah
Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet went out to the valley of Al-Batha and he
ascended the mountain. Then he cried out,

(O people, come at once!) So the Quraysh gathered around him. Then he said,

(If I told you all that the enemy was going to attack you in the morning, or in the evening, would you
all believe me) They replied, "Yes.'' Then he said,

(Verily, I am a warner (sent) to you all before the coming of a severe torment.) Then Abu Lahab said,
"Have you gathered us for this May you perish!'' Thus, Allah revealed,

(Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!) to the end of the Surah. In another narration it
states that he stood up dusting of his hands and said, "Perish you for the rest of this day! Have you
gathered us for this'' Then Allah revealed,

(Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!) The first part is a supplication against him and the
second is information about him. This man Abu Lahab was one of the uncles of the Messenger of
Allah. His name was `Abdul-`Uzza bin Abdul-Muttalib. His surname was Abu `Utaybah and he was
only called Abu Lahab because of the brightness of his face. He used to often cause harm to the
Messenger of Allah. He hated and scorned him and his religion. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Az-
Zinad that a man called Rabi`ah bin `Abbad from the tribe of Bani Ad-Dil, who was a man of pre-
Islamic ignorance who accepted Islam, said to him, "I saw the Prophet in the time of pre-Islamic
ignorance in the market of Dhul-Majaz and he was saying,

(O people! Say there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and you will be successful.) The people
were gathered around him and behind him there was a man with a bright face, squint (or cross) eyes

and two braids in his hair. He was saying, "Verily, he is an apostate (from our religion) and a liar!'' This
man was following him (the Prophet) around wherever he went. So, I asked who was he and they (the
people) said, "This is his uncle, Abu Lahab.'' Ahmad also recorded this narration from Surayj, who
reported it from Ibn Abu Az-Zinad, who reported it from his father (Abu Zinad) who mentioned this
same narration. However in this report, Abu Zinad said, "I said to Rabi`ah, `Were you a child at that
time?' He replied, `No. By Allah, that day I was most intelligent, and I was the strongest blower of the
flute (for music).''' Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith. Concerning Allah's statement,

(His wealth and his children (Kasab) will not benefit him!) Ibn `Abbas and others have said,

(and his children (Kasab) will not benefit him!) "Kasab means his children.'' A similar statement has
been reported from `A'ishah, Mujahid, `Ata', Al-Hasan and Ibn Sirin. It has been mentioned from Ibn
Mas`ud that when the Messenger of Allah called his people to faith, Abu Lahab said, "Even if what my
nephew says is true, I will ransom myself (i.e., save myself) from the painful torment on the Day of
Judgment with my wealth and my children.'' Thus, Allah revealed,

(His wealth and his children will not benefit him!) Then Allah says,

(He will enter a Fire full of flames!) meaning, it has flames, evil and severe burning.

The Destiny of Umm Jamil, the Wife of Abu Lahab
(And his wife too, who carries wood.) His wife was among the leading women of the Quraysh and she
was known as Umm Jamil. Her name was `Arwah bint Harb bin Umayyah and she was the sister of
Abu Sufyan. She was supportive of her husband in his disbelief, rejection and obstinacy. Therefore, she
will be helping to administer his punishment in the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgment. Thus, Allah

(Who carries wood. In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad.) meaning, she will carry the firewood and
throw it upon her husband to increase that which he is in (of torment), and she will be ready and
prepared to do so.

(In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad.) Mujahid and `Urwah both said, "From the palm fiber of the
Fire.'' Al-`Awfi narrated from Ibn `Abbas, `Atiyah Al-Jadali, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd that she used to
place thorns in the path of the Messenger of Allah . Al-Jawhari said, "Al-Masad refers to fibers, it is
also a rope made from fibers or palm leaves. It is also made from the skins of camels or their furs. It is
said (in Arabic) Masadtul-Habla and Amsaduhu Masadan, when you tightly fasten its twine.'' Mujahid

(In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad.) "This means a collar of iron.'' Don't you see that the Arabs
call a pulley cable a Masad?

A Story of Abu Lahab's Wife harming the Messenger of Allah
Ibn Abi Hatim said that his father and Abu Zur`ah both said that `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr Al-
Humaydi told them that Sufyan informed them that Al-Walid bin Kathir related from Ibn Tadrus who
reported that Asma' bint Abi Bakr said, "When

(Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he)!) was revealed, the one-eyed Umm Jamil bint Harb
came out wailing, and she had a stone in her hand. She was saying, `He criticizes our father, and his
religion is our scorn, and his command is to disobey us.' The Messenger of Allah was sitting in the
Masjid (of the Ka`bah) and Abu Bakr was with him. When Abu Bakr saw her he said, `O Messenger of
Allah! She is coming and I fear that she will see you.' The Messenger of Allah replied,

(Verily, she will not see me.) Then he recited some of the Qur'an as a protection for himself. This is as
Allah says,

(And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an
invisible veil.) (17:45) So she advanced until she was standing in front of Abu Bakr and she did not see
the Messenger of Allah. She then said, `O Abu Bakr! Verily, I have been informed that your friend is
making defamatory poetry about me.' Abu Bakr replied, `Nay! By the Lord of this House (the Ka`bah)
he is not defaming you.' So she turned away saying, `Indeed the Quraysh know that I am the daughter
of their leader.''' Al-Walid or another person said in a different version of this Hadith, "So Umm Jamil
stumbled over her waist gown while she was making circuits (Tawaf) around the House (the Ka`bah)
and she said, `Cursed be the reviler.' Then Umm Hakim bint `Abdul-Muttalib said, `I am a chaste
woman so I will not speak abusively and I am refined so I do not know. Both of us are children of the
same uncle. And after all the Quraysh know best.'' This is the end of the Tafsir of this Surah, and all
praise and blessings are due to Allah.


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